Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Liberian Hugarian Coach Faces First Real Test! By: ralph geeplay

The Liberian Lone Star soccer squad

The same week Liberian soccer legend George Weah was in South Africa critizing African football authorities for hiring foreign coaches, his own Liberia was busy signing one.

Weah reportedly made the comments right after the just ended FIFA World Cup, which was held for the first time on an African soil.

He chided the poor display of African teams, noting that foreign coaches were heavily paid, and uncustomed to the cultures, players and environments with which they worked in Africa: Liberia faces Zimbabwe Warriors this weekend in Monrovia. Head to head: two coaches, one foreign the other local.

The first real test of the newly minted coach, who is just few months on the job comes on Sunday afternoon in the Liberian Capital of Monrovia.

The Warriors, come to Monrovia determined to give their West African counterparts a run for their money, pound for pound and in the process recalling a throng of their own foreign professionals scattered accross Africa and Europe.

What's interesting is that "Zimbabwe will be parading a local coach, while Liberia has a foreign one," says a football observer, current about the debate, as far as foreign and idegeneous coaches are concerned. Nigeria, he says is about to hire Sampson Siasia, while South Africa has opted for their local coach Pitso Mosimane who was deputy under the Brazilian, Carlos Alberto Parreira who led Bafana Bafana during the just ended tournament.

Many African countries are following suit. Only Algeria, paraded a local coach Rabah Saadane, at the just ended football festivities on the continent, in what was certainly a dismal perfromance by the all African teams expected to have done well on home soil, safe for Ghana Black Stars, however, that also fail to meet expectations.

The Black Stars squandered a golden opportunity to reach the semi finals, by wasting a late panelty goal that would have seen them through, as Africa held it's breath!

It is therefore no secret, that Egypt is currently the only highly placed African side at the 9th spot in the world and lst overall in Africa, according to the latest FIFA ranking. The North African football giants have won the Afican Cup consecutively trice in recent times. Egypt does have a local coach, in Hassan Shehata. He is the coach Nigeria probably should have taken to the world cup, instead of Lars Lagerback, the Swede, who fail to win a single game fot the West African power house, reaping almost 1.5m dollars in renumeration in just five months. "The ball therefore is up in the air, but the onus should be on the expatriate, because he's being paid alot of money." The analyst concluded.

The Liberian coach Bertalan Bisckie, according to the Liberian Football Association has (LFA) summoned about 15 foreign players, amongst them the deadly duo of Francis Granpa Doe, who currently plies his trade in the Egyptian top flight Al Ahly, and the ever industrious Patrick Doeplah, currently seeking opportunities in Budapest, Hungary having played in the Israeli premium league last season.

Liberia, will be going into the weekend's match hoping to picked up points where former coach (German) Anthony Haye left off. Under Haye's mentorship, Liberia failed to qualify for the just ended African Cup held in Angola and the World Cup in South Africa.

The team remained winless throughout the qualification campaign, but it played better and was more cohesive and tactical, football observers note.

Liberia's Hungarian coach Bertalan Bisckie

To solve that deficit, the Hugarian tatician have invited a 20 years old Liberian sensation Sekou Jabateh Oliseh (CSKA Moscow, Russia), who holds a Nigerian passport, but was reportedly born in Liberia.

His recent goal for CSKA Moscow was spectacular to say the least, bullying himself between three to four defenders deliberately yet delicalitely, before slushing home a beautiful shot that hit the back of the net.

If he brings that footwork and flair this weekend as he makes is debut appearence for the national colors of Liberia, local fans and their beloved Lone Star should see results and reason for joy.

The Sunday encounter against the Warriors at Liberia's only sports complex has seen Zimbabwe's coach, Norman Mepeza inviting 13 foreign based professionals. Clerence Matawu of Polish side Polonia Bytom and South African based star Knowledge Musona of Kaiser Chiefs, are two central players Berscki should watch. The Hungarian, is reportedly being paid about 13,000 United States dollars a month in addition to housing, vehicle and bonus for home and away wins.

The Foreign professionals players called up against Zimbabwe:

George Baysah, Hapoel Kfar Saba Israel
Alex Karmo, Stima FC Kenya
Gizzie Dorbor Irony BatYam of Israel
Jimmy Dixon Manisaspor of Turkey,

Dulee Johnson, AIk Solna Sweden
Theo Weeks, Ankanragucu Turkey
Patrick Doeplah, clubless
David Ghemie, clubless
Sekou Jabateh Oliseh, CSKA Moscow Russia
Isaac Pupo Panionios GSS Greece
Solomon Grimes, Ethnikos Greece
Steven Mennoh Perspipasi Berkasi Indonesia

Anthony Laffor, Super Sport United South Africa (Captain)
Francis Doe of Al Ahly of Egypt
Dioh Williams of FC Alania Vladikavkaz of Russia (on loan from AGF of Denmark)

Liberia meanwhile, is grouped with Mali, Cape Verde and Zimbabwe for the qualifiers, which makes up Group A. Gabon and Equitorial Guniea host the African cup of Nations in 2012. Liberia is fighting for a place amonst elite African football nations at the pending gala.

The Liberian Football Association have meanwhile closed the national team training section to the general public. No visitors are allow to the hotel hosting the team, also. The remainer of the team will be composed of local based players.

Key player: Lone Star:
Francis Doe, who is currently playing in
Egypt, has scored important goals for
every club he has played for, including
the Lone Star. If the Hungarian use him
tactically and stratigically, Liberians should
be dancing in the streets when the
final whistle blows on sunday evening in Monrovia.

Key Player: Warriors:
Knowledge Musona, the South African Kaiser
Chiefs based player is a rising star in Zimbabwean football
and his footworks will be needed, if the Warriors
must put up an impressive showing in Monrovia.

Prediction: 2:1 Liberia Lone Star

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tubman’s Last Gamble!

By: ralph geeplay

Liberian politician Winston Tubman

Politicians are gamblers. They all bet and stake their fate on the future, and this is done not in so quiet ways. To add to the spectacle, it is often executed with everyone watching, and if they do win the glee is always never mistaken: Cameras capturing the smiles of victory, newspaper banners hailing their conquests, television and radio stations blaring their speeches and images.